Give us a summary of how you got into design and what made you choose this field?
I was initially planning to pursue an art degree but committed to a career path in design, as I wanted to do something creative that was more focused on problem-solving. I got my bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication and originally planned to do graphic design illustration but ended up finding a passion for user experience design. You can apply the same thinking to so many types of design, whether it’s physical, digital, an interior or exterior space, etc. I just happen to design digital interfaces, focusing on the overall flow of the experience, information architecture, and functionality, informed by user research and data.
You specialize in UI/UX in digital products – I assume this encompasses quite a lot of design elements! What is a typical day like in the life of a designer?
The main thing I’m usually designing is websites. Before I can focus on how it looks/feels and ensure that the design is consistent on different screen sizes and devices, I have to plan where the content goes, how that determines the structure of the site and the pages themselves, so it aligns with the goals and objectives of the product. So most of my time actually is spent mapping out these plans through sitemaps, flows, and wireframes, because if the foundation is solid, then I don’t have to worry about things shifting around and affecting the design later.. A lot of it is communication, with the clients and my team.
You’re no stranger to agency life – what’s your favorite thing about working in a creative marketing agency?
I love and feel so lucky that I get to work with and learn from really talented, creative, intelligent, hardworking and nice people. I also love the variety of projects I get. I could be doing anything from animation, to web design, to print collateral, to social media, to photography. The projects that allow the creative process to reign are the most fulfilling. It’s exciting to be able to solve problems of all different kinds and create persuasive work.
On that note, we’re a pretty creative bunch here at Bigfish, what are some of your creative outlets?
I love drawing and painting. I used to do it a lot more with traditional mediums, but I’m all about digital illustration now, as much as I love putting the brush to canvas and trying out different papers and surfaces. I also love photography, especially when I can have creative direction with freelance clients and friends. Besides visual outlets, I love crafting and creating things with my hands, and plan on getting into ceramics again (so I don’t have to ever buy anyone a present ever again). I have too many random projects planned.
It’s not all work and no play – what’s your typically Friday night look like?
If I’m not doing something with friends, I love a good night in…probably the most. I always have a lot of shows and books on my “to watch/read” list.
Favorite part of the job?
Seeing the designs that I’ve made coded or produced into a real, responsive thing in the world, or digital space (I’m not the best coder, so thank you devs). Having an influence on the way someone experiences a product and making that experience better for them is rewarding.
I have to ask. What’s your least favorite part of the job?
Probably presenting to a big group of clients. Although it’s necessary part of the job to explain and defend design decisions, I prefer to be behind the scenes/screen designing the thing, instead of talking about the design of the thing.
The world of design changes frequently, how do you stay up on what’s happening in the digital world?
There’s so many feeds, blogs, podcasts, channels, and resources out there; it’s overwhelming. I tend to bookmark everything and hoard tabs. For UX, Medium is one great way to find articles on industry trends, findings, and writings on better practices. For design and Illustration, I honestly love Instagram for the accessibility, and it makes it easy for me to keep up with (stalk) my favorite creatives and designers. There’s so many great things out there to follow!
What are some of the UI/UX tools you’re currently psyched about?
Figma. As a team, we just started using it together, and I’m so stoked about it. It’s insanely cool because you can collaborate in real time with other designers. The components system is the most intuitive one I’ve used yet, and prototyping is so much faster so I can now focus on more important things. I’ve saved so much time with it.
Okay, last question. Give me your elevator pitch in 20 words or less!
Committed to bringing clarity, simplicity, and usability to user experiences through design thinking, strategy, and empathy.